Do’s and Don’ts of Conceal and Carry
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution gives you the right to own, possess, and carry a firearm. It does not give you the right to use it. Here is some advice, primarily for non-law enforcement personal.
Carrying a firearm is a very dangerous responsibility. Shooting somebody or shooting at somebody is something not to be taken lightly. The residual emotions are going to remain with you long after the incident is forgotten by the media. The financial responsibility is immense. Lawsuits are inevitable, even when you are legally justified in shooting your weapon.
Last month two police officers from Cicero, Illinois, attempted to make a felony stop on a wanted fugitive. A short car chase ensued, and the subject vehicle was quickly blocked in by normal rush hour traffic. The officers and the fugitive exited their cars simultaneously and the subject immediately began firing at the officers. One officer was struck four times as his partner furiously returned fire. A civilian caught in the traffic jam, happened to be an instructor of Cary and Conceal. He engaged the subject striking him and putting him down. With the threat eliminated, the wounded officer was removed and taken to the nearest trauma hospital where he was successfully treated.
The argument started in the media immediately; should a civilian have gotten involved in a police shooting incident? The short answer is absolutely. In engaging the offender from a different vantage point, this hero probably saved both these officers lives. This man was a qualified firearms instructor and a skilled marksman. He had instructed over 6,000 people on the fundamentals of firearm usage on their way to obtaining a Carry and Conceal card.
Often you hear of people being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This was the opposite. This hero was in the right place at the right time. An absolute stroke of luck for the officers, or divine power? You decide.
Now my advice for non-law enforcement individuals. Never get involved in any shooting incident unless you are directly threatened with death or great bodily harm. Go the other way. Run away. Do everything in your power to avoid an armed confrontation.
In the current political climate, coupled with the anti-gun animus fermenting in the media, a person will be vilified and ostracized for protecting himself. I strongly recommend that any citizen with the Carry and Conceal card reduce the usage of his or her weapon to self-protection only. And, if there is an alternative action like retreating, do so.
On the other hand. I will not recommend that LEOs or retired LEOs take any sort of action or refrain from taking needed action when required. This is a personal choice and should not be directed by any writings on a blog. LEOs fully understand the importance of and the life-changing course following any use of deadly force. What I do recommend is the purchase of insurance coverage in the event that a LEO is forced to use deadly force. Common mistakes include the idea that homeowners insurance will cover legal fees and that umbrella insurance coverage is sufficient. Both wrong. These cover accidents, not incidents that are deliberately initiated by the homeowner.
I recently purchased gun insurance and it was about 250.00 per year. I do not sell it, nor am I affiliated with any insurance group. But, I strongly recommend it. Don’t take my word, ask your insurance company and evaluate your policies.
Finally, I have been retired over ten years and I still slow down at the site of flashing lights on the side of the road. I always rubberneck to make sure the officer is safe in his traffic stop. Often, I drive slowly and offer the thumbs up and wait for a response before driving away. I would do whatever is necessary if I saw an officer in need. Make no mistake about, blue blood still flows through my veins.
To all my brothers and sisters in blue, lock and load and protect each other. And as always, stay safe.
Larry Casey, sergeant (ret.), Chicago Police Department, Criminal Justice professor, Wilbur Wright College. View his website at www.StoriesofaChicagoPoliceOfficer.com for more information and review his book by the same name. Makes a great gift.